Is HBO’s newest American TV series The Idol really as bad as it is thought to be?

Cringy male lead aside, some parts of the plot and its cinematography actually makes The Idol worth a watch.

Belinda Poh

| June 15, 2023
The Idol
Blackpink’s Jennie, Lily-Rose Depp, Troye Sivan and Rachel Sennott in a still from The Idol. Photo: Eddy Chen/HBO

The Idol is HBO Max’s newest original, and it has been the talk of the town recently, for a few reasons.

Created by Sam Levison and The Weekend, the series first gained attention as it shared the same creator as hit series, Euphoria (2019). It also boasts a star-studded cast of Lily-Rose Depp, The Weekend, Blackpink’s Jennie and Troye Sivan.

The plot centres around Joycelyn ( Lily-Rose Depp), an aspiring pop idol preparing for a comeback. She is ready to prove her title as “the greatest and sexiest pop star in America”.

Read more: Calvin Klein launches limited-edition capsule collection with Blackpink’s Jennie

This comes after her tour had been cancelled due to a nervous breakdown due to her mother’s death. The first episode aired two weeks ago on 4 June. It currently has a rating of 22% on Rotten Tomatoes.

While the reviews for the series have not been the most positive, viewership for the first episode reached 3.6 mil.

The Idol also effectively emanated a sense of unease and discomfort in viewers with the imagery in certain scenes and unsettling background music.

This effectively highlighted the main point of exploiting of celebrities and idols, a common sight in today’s industry. They are constantly treated as a product, rather than a human.

Viewers have also marvelled at Lily-Rose Depp’s acting skills, especially in the racy sex scene in episode two. She also had to sit through four hours for hair extensions to film a separate music video scene, per The Wrap.

Back-up dancer Dyanne’s new villain arc, played by Jennie, in the series also had many anticipating what would come in future episodes.

Jennie in a still from The Idol. Photo: Eddy Chen/HBO

Tedros (The Weekend) is somewhat cringy and creepy. But the other part of the plot which focuses on Joycelyn’s career is actually worth watching.

Catch new episodes released every Sunday on HBO Max.


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